West Virginia Miners’ Kin Say Alpha Owes Them $1.5M Each

August 8, 2013

Relatives of three of the 29 men killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster say Alpha Natural Resources has yet to pay them each $1.5 million as promised under a settlement agreement with the federal government.

A lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Beckley also claims eight other families may still be awaiting payments. It asks Judge Irene Berger to enforce the landmark $210 million agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Alpha didn’t immediately comment Wednesday.

Massey Energy owned UBB when it exploded in 2010, but Virginia-based Alpha later bought out Massey.

The complaint says the families agreed to confidential settlements of wrongful death lawsuits before the sale. But Alpha wasn’t party to those deals, and the families say they never gave up their rights to additional restitution.

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